Recent comments

  • Film Log   3 days 5 hours ago

    Thanks! Verdoux is wonderful: a black comedy, cynically casting an eye on moral hypocrisies and capitalist ideology. Yet, for its bleak vision of the world, Chaplin's performance is a surprisingly elegant, gentle and graceful. His aesthetic choices throughout--such as performance, narrative structure, etc--are inseparable from his politics, making the film all the more complex, and suspending the viewer in a place of uncertainty. Chaplin has always been, in one way or the other, a socially engaged artist (e.g. The Gold Rush is at its best and funniest when it is also at its most biting, as in the shoe eating scene), and I think the fact that he did slapstick has unfortunately damaged the perception of the sharpness and intelligence of his work. Verdoux, however, is particularly sophisticated and undeniable. It's amazing to see how much more he could be than just a tramp; a really great film, one of his best, I'd say.

  • Favorite Music   3 days 6 hours ago

    Goat is awesome. Mouth Breather always sounds amazing to me. I hadn't listened to it since at least a couple of years ago, actually. Listening to it now, it's even better than I remember.

    Are Head and Liar as good as this?

  • Film Log   3 days 12 hours ago

    Can't say enough how much I've been enjoying this!

    Lots of films on here that I haven't seen. What did you think of Monsieur Verdoux? (been meaning to check it out)

  • Jonathan Rosenbaum's 100 Essential Films   3 days 16 hours ago

    Sure. Mine would too. I'm glad every taste is different. I'm not a Tarkovsky expert (yet) so I can't really commment on that. But as for the socio-political content in Rosenbaum's reviews I think it was a great eye-opener when I started reading them. There's a very humanist and ethical (almost Chomsky-like) drive in him that adds another level of authority to his texts. His disagreements and negative reviews are never arbitrary.
    Dave Kehr is indeed the only living american critic with comparable knowledge and similar views (it's a shame there aren't many of his extended reviews available, because his Chicago Reader capsules are priceless). Like you, I don't follow a single current cinema critic, but it's true even today Chicago Reader's movie staff seems to have a somewhat reliable orientation.

  • Favorite movies (I've seen)   3 days 19 hours ago

    Some thoughts on Playtime:
    The gags and accidents increase our sympathy for the characters. That is the purpose of the comedy. In our gazing we are practicing theory of mind. Our unengineered sympathy for those who struggle with the reality (tripping over things) is exposed, in contradiction with our cynical, political, tribal, "third-person" judgment when looking at crowds and cities. The ordinary conflict between "kinds" of people, like that between owners and customers, either is missing or quickly dissipates as if forbearance is in fashion. The lack of intransigence, belligerence, outright rejection, shame, blame, grievance, guilt, etc., surprises us and leads us to believe simply being puzzled with the reality (including other people in it) is more genuine than being frustrated with it.

    The "elite" are humiliated in front of those who seem to be their subordinates - and they do not seem to care: the man in charge of Mr. Hulot breaks his nose, men make fools of themselves in front of women, waiters embarrass themselves and the entire enterprise (but still the customers are sitting).

    Invasion of privacy is a non-issue in a world where everybody is compassionate and non-biased. That world is still a little sad because, despite people's lack of destructiveness, the "sum" of their experiences is still low (and in fact the sum of their experiences becomes a little destructive because of accidents): people come together, accept and traverse the reality together in civilized manner, and then are excused, not having built anything besides their own subjective reality. What is architecturally built changes the images of reality people are filled with but not the nature of the reality (which either way grips the subject, who will trip over it) in part because it will be destroyed without guilt. But the movie is not at all harrowing.

  • Ultimate Classic House List (1984-1989)   3 days 21 hours ago

    fantastic list, enjoyed a few great classics off it. I'm looking for a track, similar to the voodoo ray guy called gerrald, bam bam wheres my child kind of sound, with the lyrics, as far as i know something like.

    dance, i wanna dance d d d d d d dance, i wanna dance d d d d d d dance...
    any ideas would be great cheers folks
    kev

  • Favorite Music   3 days 21 hours ago

    Still one of my favorite lists on this site. Don't you like The Jesus Lizard's Goat? One of the most intense albums ever created.

  • 50 newish movies on Netflix I want to see   4 days 5 hours ago

    I did see World War Z. Im not really a zombie fan myself, but the movie wasnt half bad. I can see fans of the action/zombie genres loving it.

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  • Jonathan Rosenbaum's 100 Essential Films   4 days 9 hours ago

    Yeah, I agree entirely, though I must say my favourite list of movies would fairly different from his, which I suppose is kind of the point. There'd be nothing to explore or discover if we had identical tastes (most glaringly, he sometimes likes films mostly for their socio-political content, and he doesn't care for Tarkovsky's post-exile works, the horror!). But, as the person on this site puts it (you've doubtlessly seen this page) "even in... disagreements I find a formidable opinion that challenges me to make my own opinion better and stronger". It's a shame he's retired from reviewing new films, if you know of anyone on his level I'd be happy to hear names. Maybe it's something about the Chicago Reader, but him and Kehr have been, in my mind, two of the best critics.

  • 100 Greatest R&B Love Songs   4 days 9 hours ago

    Love songs are always attractive and it changes our mood. Now dedicate any love song to your dear one with best and unique Love quotes and make him/her happy.

  • Every animated movie ever created (alphabetical)   4 days 12 hours ago

    Hahaha it does sound like the smurphs but is not. It is hard to explain. Its proper on my mind and i don't think anyone can help me. But thanks for the effort.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   4 days 15 hours ago

    I listened to it a couple years ago and it was pretty great. I don't remember it being nearly as compositionally "busy" as Mars Volta, but Patti Smith wouldn't be too far off.

  • Jonathan Rosenbaum's 100 Essential Films   4 days 15 hours ago

    It's great. I check this list and the extended one pretty regularly. I also read his opinion on any movie I happen to come across. One of the few erudite critics whose writing is both infallibly interesting/deep and accessible. This, I think, is due to his honest and inspiring enthusiasm in sharing his love for the artists and their works. He also manages, as you say, to have a fairly broad taste without losing his personal views and ethic. Also does a very important job in contradicting the mainstream Kael/Ebert canon and its overhyped 70s directors and promoting great underrated artists like Charles Burnett and Sam Fuller.
    Every movie I've seen from this list is indeed fascinating so my disagreements with him don't bother me. I'd probably include a Buñuel film and a Kurosawa film on a list like this, as well as a couple of horror movies. But that would be my list.

  • Every animated movie ever created (alphabetical)   4 days 17 hours ago

    I made my original post like THREE years ago so here it goes again :( Hi, i was wondering if anybody could help me. I've been looking for an animated movie for about ten years and its driving me crazy but i cant remember what it's called. its about a girl in a yellow dress with brown hair that is on an adventure to find this rose or flower that is supposed to save somebody or the place where she lives. its supposed to be magical. There's also a witch or evil lady that's looking for it to so she can use its powers for evil. along the way she helps people out and i think there are some little people that follow her. but the last scene of the movie is her in this garden looking place and her and the witch are trying to pick flowers to see which one is the magical one and they have to sit it in this chair. come to find out one of the people she was with catches on and discovers shes what they been looking for. she sits in the chair then everything gets fixed. i forgot what happened to the witch but i believe her dress transforms. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME, MY LIFE WILL NOT BE COMPLETE TO I FIND THIS MOVIE

  • 9 movies not to watch alone in the dark...   4 days 20 hours ago

    Good day! Thanks for this list. Looking forward more.

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  • Films Seen: Listology Scoreboard 2015   4 days 20 hours ago

    Well a day late, not so bad.

    On our second update, we have quite the smattering of ties and we've seen considerable movement. Schwabe leaped to tom_elce's challenge to smash past with 16 films. Kaplan entered the "1 film per day" group logging 15 films and Puzzgal climbed strongly into that group with 14 films. They have tied bpchicky for 4th place. Both nukualofa and mightysparks are well placed to move into the "1 film per day" group next time. Members of the 10th place tie last time have spread a little into 3 different ties at 10th, 13th and 15th places. kgracetasticsake made an impressive move from 25th place to 23rd joining a tie with skullduggerish.

    I had given thought to highlighting the player with the highest number of films logged, but it seems those in the "2 films per day" group would almost always hold that because of the number of films per day they must watch to maintain that standing. So I'm not going to do that.

    With a total of 173 new films, our group has now logged 557 films for 2015. Good job players!

    Our next update will be February 8. For those who seek 2 films per day, your total will need to be a minimum of 78 films; those seeking the 1 per day rank will need a total of at least 39. See you in two weeks. Until then, happy viewing!

  • Jonathan Rosenbaum's 100 Essential Films   4 days 21 hours ago

    What are your thoughts on this list?

    I've been filling in the gaps / rewatching films from this list lately, and it's been very rewarding. Rosenbaum's taste is eclectic and non-canonical enough to be interesting, so there's lots of discoveries to be made (though I am also glad he isn't trying to make a point by deliberately picking only obscure films). I also much prefer personal lists--when there is substantiation for choices, as there is in his reviews--to aggregate polls.

  • Every animated movie ever created (alphabetical)   4 days 22 hours ago

    Sounds like Smurfs. Were they blue?

  • Every animated movie ever created (alphabetical)   4 days 22 hours ago

    Disneys Sword in the stone

  • Every animated movie ever created (alphabetical)   4 days 22 hours ago

    Hello, to the maker of the list or anyone else who has a good insight on amimated movies.

    I need help remembering the name of an animated movie. Explained as best i can, hope someone can help!?
    Okay at the start of this movie there is like a small civilisation of these creature things, (forget what animal they are supposed to be) but there is this one thats dead smart and likes to invent who kinds no one likes. Anyway at the start everyone is havimg some big race that looks like it happens every so often and the kings daughter wants to be in the race so she puts a disguise on to race.

    After the race is all done something happens with some crystal that opens a portal to our worls (earth) and the kings daughter goes into it so some people follow.

    The main bad guy on earth is some old skinny guy where at some point the creatures from the other world pretend to act like toys so he cant make them out, buy yhe old guy starts sniffing about kinda like the guy of Hannibal.

    The old guy also has a few figures of the creatures from the other world which makes me think that it was an imaginary work that come to life.

    Hope i explained good enough and hope someone can tell me the name it is bugging me.

    Thanks for the answer if you do!

    Connor

  • Best Albums of the 1980's   6 days 3 hours ago

    Love it when that happens. I'll be revisiting it a few times or more in the next day or so as it seems to have potential for an upgrade. I dont think Ive heard The Dreaming and will have to give that one a shot now too. Seems like she would be very impressive live!

  • Films Seen: Listology Scoreboard 2015   6 days 3 hours ago

    i might have a little advantage over you, but i defiantly take your challenge! game on! haha

  • Best Albums of the 1980's   6 days 8 hours ago

    For years The Dreaming was my favourite album by Kate Bush but upon getting live tickets to see her I found myself revisiting Hounds of Love and it has grown in stature heavily over the past year or so.